With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on trial for the horrific carnage that resulted from the Boston Marathon bombing, a number of victims are taking the stand to detail the impact the event has had on their lives. One of the most heart-wrenching testimonies so far came from the mouth of Bill Richard who lost his eight-year-old son in the bombing. In addition to losing his son, Richard’s six-year-old daughter lost her leg and his wife is now blind in one eye and has brain injuries.
The Boston Globe reports that Bill Richard described in detail the fun-filled day the family had together just prior to the bombing. Attending the Boston Marathon was a family tradition. The children would watch the runners, enjoy some ice cream and take in all the sights. Richard says it was completely “random” how the family ended up in front of the Forum Restaurant where the second blast would take the life of his small son.
Richard says that the family had spent the day watching the races but the children “had a little more energy” after stopping at Ben and Jerry’s for some ice cream. Therefore, the family decided to look for an opening to watch a few more of the runners pass. As they walked, they noticed an open area and took it.
“It was very random. We had no reason to stop where we did. There was just an opening, so we took it.”
According to the Daily Mail, one of the most poignant moments of the testimony came when Richard described seeing his son alive for the last time. Richard says that just prior to the second blast that would kill his son and cause his young daughter to lose her leg, he heard a loud boom. Initially he thought the sound was from a sewer explosion; however, he would soon hear people yelling for bystanders to “get into the street.” As Richard attempted to hoist himself over the railing he heard a loud high-pitched sound and was blown into the street.
Richard described the scene as “muted chaos” as he had temporarily lost a large portion of his hearing from the blast. He immediately found his son Henry, who was frightened and asked, “Is this really happening?” After finding Henry, Richard began looking for the rest of his family. He found his young daughter laying against a tree. He says he didn’t immediately notice how severe her injuries were until she couldn’t stand. That as when he saw that her leg had been blown off entirely.
He then heard the screams of his wife, Denise. Denise was laying near their son Martin. Richard says he immediately knew that his son would not make it.
“I saw a little boy who had his body severely damaged by an explosion… from what I saw, there was no chance.”
Richard knew he needed to divert his attention to his daughter who had a chance of survival. Therefore, Richard went with their daughter to the hospital while Denise stayed with dying Martin. Richard recalls getting a phone call from Denise noting that Martin had died.
“She told me that Martin was dead. I told her, I said, I know.”
Richard says that through the entire ordeal he attempted to shield his son Henry’s eyes from the carnage around them. Due to the bombing, his son Henry has lost a portion of his hearing, his daughter lost a leg, his wife was now blind in one eye while Richard suffers from a constant ringing in his ears and burns.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial is ongoing and the death penalty is being sought in the case the resulted in three deaths and over 260 injuries many of which resulted in amputations.
[Feature Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]